A Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Bidar district of Karnataka recently convicted three doctors for causing the death of a woman who was operated on by them without having a ventilator facility in the hospital and other lifesaving equipment. This was despite the fact that the committee constituted by the District Surgeon to verify the allegation of medical negligence in its final report has said there is no negligence on the part of the accused during the performance of the LAVH surgery and also shows *how the accused have tried to save the deceased.”*
What is worrying for the doctors is that every death during medical treatment can be a blame against the doctors. If the courts were to impose criminal liability on the hospital and doctors for everything that goes wrong, the doctors now should be more worried about their own safety than giving all the best treatment to their patients. Both Government and Private small hospitals carry out thousands of routine surgeries every day. Occasionally complications may arise in simplest looking procedures – for example even in normal deliveries; what to say about routine surgeries. How many hospitals (Government and private) in districts, town in peripheries are equipped with a ventilatory support system? Perhaps they are too less, although an honest count would be some interesting data. Still, surgeries of the type mentioned are conducted routinely in almost all of these small centres.
So based on one incident of this kind, the thousands of surgeries done in such areas are going to be affected. In other words, doctors will not dare to conduct surgeries in peripheries. As per the verdict of the court, many of the surgical speciality’s doctors in periphery are indulging in blameworthy activities every day in their routine work. Why should they risk their lives and profession in such circumstances? That raises another question , as many Government Hospitals are also without ventilators in the periphery. Should Govt doctors also refuse surgeries without an ICU setup? Any Surgery or even normal delivery in rare circumstances can get complicated and the patient may require ventilator. Usually anaesthetist use Ambu-bag for an emergency situation and transport the patient to other facility. So absence of a ventilator is not life threatening in a real sense. In peripheries, a large number of deliveries are conducted by ANMs, and nurses, and complications may arise occasionally. So what are the facilities expected and available at a sub-centre? In reality almost nothing is available. Merely having a ventilator does not solve the problem and is not enough . The hospital requires much more arrangements to keep a patient on ventilator. Do all Govt hospitals where surgeries are being done have ventilator and trained doctors and support staff to operate those ventilators? It needs round the clock trained doctors and nurses, ABG machine, portable X-ray , bed side Echo dialysis etc. Doctors in ill-equipped Govt centres are forced to conduct deliveries. What should be the SOP in such circumstances? A real and honest data would be an eye opener and interesting.
Doctor need to ponder over the issue of saving themselves before they save the patient.
Medical Negligence: Karnataka Court Convicts Three Doctors For Death Of Woman Operated Without Ventilator Facility & Other Life Saving Equipment* “A Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Bidar district of Karnataka recently convicted three doctors for causing the death of a woman who was operated on by them without having a ventilator facility in the hospital and other life saving equipment. BIDAR: Four people, including three doctors, have been handed jail terms and slapped with fines by a local court for a botched surgery which claimed the life of a woman.The II Civil (senior) and JMFC Court judge Abdul Khadar sentenced well-known medical practitioners Dr Rajshree Biradar and Dr Vaijinath Biradar, and Saibanna, to two years imprisonment and fined them Rs 10,000 each. If they fail to pay the fine, they will have to serve an additional six months in prison. Dr Rajshekar Patil was sentenced to six months imprisonment and fined Rs 5,000. He will have to serve additional imprisonment of one month if he fails to pay the fine.The case dates back to October 12, 2014, when Sampavati, wife of Ghaleppa Auradakar, got herself admitted to Sushrut Nursing Home in the city for a hysterectomy procedure. But after a five-hour surgery, she died due to alleged medical negligence.However, without disclosing her condition to the family, she was shifted to Dr Rajshekhar Patil’s Shree Hospital in an ambulance. Dr Patil continued the treatment without disclosing her condition, it was alleged in the chargesheet.
Nursing home was negligent in not having ventilator: Court
Later, it was revealed that Sampavati had died at Sushrut Nursing Home itself due to the lack of ventilator facility. The court, while convicting the accused, observed that the nursing home authorities were negligent in not having a ventilator facility for such a risky procedure.